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Pro-European, Nationalist Demonstrators Face Off In Georgian Capital


TBILISI -- Hundreds of nationalist and pro-European demonstrators faced off in the Georgian capital, with eggs, water bottles, and insults thrown but no serious violence reported.

Activists with a political party called the Movement for Liberty-European Georgia staged the rally July 23, saying that Russian propaganda in Georgia was "fomenting xenophobia, aggression, and violence."

The protesters marched through Tbilisi along the same route that an ultranationalist and anti-immigration group followed nine days earlier, during a so-called "March of Georgians.”

City officials and the influential Georgian Orthodox church had asked pro-European activists not to march, fearing an outbreak of violence.

Anti-immigration demonstrators threw eggs and water bottles at, and exchanged insults with, the pro-European activists on July 23, but riot police prevented serious clashes.

Nationalists have demanded the government deport illegal immigrants, toughen of the country’s immigration laws, and ban the foreign funding of civil society organizations.

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